NEWCOMER Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) looks set to gain from the departure of Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) leaders seeking greener pastures.
Less than 24 hours after Liawan division chief cum Youth chief Jake Nointin announced his resignation along with several hundred members, PBS lost another division chief, Egol Onsim Basintal (Membakut), today.
While Onsim and several hundred former PBS members have applied to join Mohd Shafie Apdal’s Warisan, Nointin has not given any indication as to where he will go next, although a PBS source said it was likely Warisan.
The worst is not over for the veteran party, as PBS insiders believe that members of branches from the southern part of Sabah’s east coast are expected to leave soon.
Warisan vice-president Junz Wong said the exodus of PBS leaders was due to Sabah Umno’s over-dominance in state Barisan Nasional affairs, including seat distribution among component parties.
“Seat distribution, with Umno controlling most of the seats, is just one of the factors, but more importantly, they see the need to unite as Sabahans under the leadership of Shafie. ”
Umno had contested in 32 seats out of Sabah’s 60, leaving the rest to other component parties, with PBS being allowed to contest in 13 seats.
It was initially rumoured that Warisan wanted to form an electoral pact with PBS, but the negotiations fell through after PBS acting president Dr Maximus Ongkili said the party would stick with BN.
Maximus has dismissed Nointin’s resignation and suggestions that the Liawan division was dissolved.
The Kota Marudu MP said Nointin left PBS because he wanted to be a candidate.
“If you join a political party just for the sake of wanting to be a candidate, then PBS is not for you.
“Like in all political parties, there are those who harbour an incurable obsession to be election candidates. But, there are limited seats available, so everyone needs to be patient and play his role accordingly.
“He (Nointin) had confided in other leaders that if he was not fielded as a candidate in the next general election, he would leave,” said Ongkili in a statement today.
He said Nointin and his supporters had yet to submit their resignation letters officially to PBS, adding that the Liawan division now came under the supervision of the party’s secretary-general, Johnny Mositun.
THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT